NPM: Off Rue de la Reine

In a tiny antique shop

Off Rue de la Reine

Which is owned by Monsieur Cotillier

You can find quite a few

Implausible items

and things that just shouldn’t be there


A violin without strings

That regardless still sings

the most beautiful notes to be heard

A cage made of ivory

Cunningly wrought

that houses a live clockwork bird


A watch lacking hands

that does not tell the time

But tells cryptic secrets instead

And on every hour

it whispers the future

to those willing to hear what is said


In the back of the shop

Is a red painted door

that leads to a courtyard of white

At its center, a fountain

That flows after dark

With a liquid resembling starlight


Though Monsieur Cotillier

is the strangest of all

In a wonderful, magical way

For he welcomes each patron

as if they were kin

asking if they have somewhere to stay


And the charming old man

talks with pride of his shop

and the travels he takes to acquire

The remarkable marvels

His collection contains

And remembers in detail each buyer


If a thing strikes your fancy

Monsieur Cotillier

will always implore you to buy

For he knows that a road

May lead on far and fast

And you may not get a second try


When your browsing is done

And you’re ready to leave

A sad gleam comes into his eye

And he wishes you well

Clasps hands warmly with you

And murmurs, “Adieu, friend. Goodbye.”


If on subsequent trips

to the Rue de la Reine

You return to his shop to drop by

You’ll find nothing more

Than a red painted door,

A courtyard, a fountain run dry


7 thoughts on “NPM: Off Rue de la Reine

  1. Hi! You’ve been nominated for the Liebster Award! go here for all the info:

  2. aliciakhoo says:

    I spent many months in Paris…friends and seasons birthed and died in me there. This piece did something to me. I will keep returning to it and one day I will write my own. Absolutely breathtaking. Thank you.

    • Wow, I am flattered and honored. You write so beautifully, so I’m sure your tribute to Paris will be stunning. I look forward to reading it someday. Thank you for your kind comment.

  3. breetsuts says:

    Val, I absolutely adore this piece. It’s whimsical, yet has a tinge of sadness, and I love how the last few lines echo the earlier ones. This is one of my favorite poems you have ever composed, and it’s going into my book with your others! 🙂

    • Thank you, Bree! I love this one quite a bit too. I appreciate hearing the specifics of what you liked with this piece. You’re putting these in a book? You flatterer. 🙂

  4. profajh says:

    That last stanza is a masterpiece. Beautiful work, my friend.

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